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Azerbaijan Makes Progress Towards WTO Accession

by Tatiana Smolenska, Tax-News.com, Moscow

28 February 2014


Azerbaijan's World Trade Organization (WTO) accession bid "has gained positive momentum," Working Party Chairman Ambassador Walter Lewalter has said, but questions remain over its tax regime.

During the 11th meeting of the Working Party on February 21, 2014 Lewalter commended Azerbaijan for its solid work to bring its trade regime into compliance with WTO rules.

WTO Members requested further clarifications from Azerbaijan on tax exemptions, investment incentives, operation of foreign-owned enterprises, privatizations, technical barriers to trade, subsidies, transit and intellectual property.

Azerbaijan reported positive engagement with WTO members during bilateral market access negotiations on goods and services. Ambassador Lewalter urged members and Azerbaijan to "keep the momentum" and "continue pursuing market access negotiations in a proactive manner."

Azerbaijan updated members on its legislative developments and reaffirmed its commitment to bring its trade regime into conformity with WTO rules. Members expressed support for Azerbaijan's early accession.

The date of the next meeting of the Working Party will depend on the submission of inputs by Azerbaijan, namely replies to members' questions, draft/adopted legislation and an updated Legislative Action Plan.

Ambassador Lewalter praised Azerbaijan and WTO members for their "constructive engagement and productive outcome."

The Working Group for Azerbaijan's WTO accession was established in 1997.

TAGS: compliance | tax | investment | intellectual property | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | legislation | Azerbaijan | trade | services | Work

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